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Emma and the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Emma and the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Hi Guys, Emma here!

Emma the Whale under umbrellas

Wouldn’t you know it, humans are just starting to realize the true size of the massive garbage island in between California and Hawaii. I have had to swim around the swirling pieces of plastic for decades now, avoiding the fishing nets, the plastic bottles, the packaging straps, the crates… It takes great skill to navigate around the 620,000 square miles the Patch takes up.

In a recent survey, 46% of the plastic was found to be from abandoned fishing nets, and researchers believe that 20% of the total debris may have been the result of the tsunami that hit Japan in 2011. Understanding where that plastic comes from could allow for changes to policy, as some scientists hope.

Floating ghost net

It is amazing to see non-profits like the Ocean Cleanup strategizing how to tackle this issue. By using the same currents that created the plastic mass, the Ocean Cleanup estimates to halve the amount of plastic in the Garbage Patch in the next 5 years. That means that they hope to make the Patch just slightly bigger than Texas by 2023. This type of progress is what happens when inventors, engineers, scientists, and computational modelers work together to solve a problem. Inspiring, isn’t it?

The Ocean Clean Up project

You can do your part to help eliminate the Great Pacific Garbage Patch! Reduce and recycle the plastic you use!

Shore Buddies - Our Mission is to save Marine Life and keep plastics out of the oceans.